Her Own Worst Enemy teaches students language skills as they produce an original one-act play.
Aida is a bright student in her last year of high school. She wants to pursue a major in science and get a useful career in the medical field. However, there is a catch: Aida is also a talented actress. And her performance in a school play catches the attention of a professor at a famous performing arts college. When he invites her to audition for a spot at the school, Aida’s friends and relatives are excited about the opportunity. Everyone has advice for her, but Aida must make her own decision about her future.
As students prepare to perform the play, they will practice many skills, including:
- Pronunciation Practice: Sentence and word stress
- Pragmatics Practice: Encouraging someone
- Production Skills: Learning a part and staging plays for students
- Attentive Listening: Discussing a career
- Readings on STEM Careers and Liberal Arts Careers, with profiles of Steve Herbert, CEO of Nimbix cloud computing, and Molly Dill, Production Director at the Houston Grand Opera
- Debate and Discussion
- Creative Writing
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Integrated Skills Through Drama
Her Own Worst Enemy is part of the Integrated Skills Through Drama series that teaches communication skills, as well as creative and academic writing, while students read and analyze an original one-act play on an important and relevant issue that touches their lives.
Here are some free downloadable resources you can use with the book. Have you come up with your own great idea for an activity that works with Her Own Worst Enemy? Send it to us. If we use it, we’ll send you a discount coupon good for any of our titles.
How to Organize a Mini-Debate One of the suggestions for post-performance activities in the book is a mini-debate. It’s a great way to have students grapple with the theme of the play, work with language, and practice the pragmatics of persuasion. Suggested topics for Her Own Worst Enemy include:
- Who should choose what a student majors in? Or what a young person’s career should be?
- Should you pursue your talents or your interests?
- Should Aida study acting or science?
- Agree or Disagree: Studying Liberal Arts is a waste of time.
- Agree or Disagree: Science without a sense of history and ethics is dangerous.
Pragmatics Lesson Plans
Wearing Someone Down Activity Students read and analyze Scene 4 to learn about strategies for persuading someone to do something by wearing them down. Then they make their own role play to practice these strategies.
I can say without hesitation that teachers and students will find the series Integrated Skills through Drama, of which this book forms part, a treasure trove of teaching ideas, covering areas like pronunciation, grammar, pragmatics, discussion themes and a host of suggested activities, all built around a short play.
—Charlyn Wessels Dyers, Author of Drama in the Oxford Resource Series for Teachers (full review here)
Drama in the performance of texts is one of the most compelling of language learning resources. It develops pronunciation, grammar and conversational skills, provides spin-off into writing, offers unlimited repetition without boredom—and most importantly, fosters the creation of a learning community through co-operative ensemble work. This book offers a wealth of preparatory activities, suggestions for varied ways of using the text and helpful suggestions for follow-up. What are we waiting for? “The play’s the thing . . .”
Her Own Worst Enemy is a fun play to produce, but it’s not just a play. It is actually a complete curriculum. You’ve got all the skills and guidance for adapting it to different levels, language goals, and time frames. Best of all, it offers a dynamic classroom experience. Students and teachers will look forward to coming to class!
—Joy Lindsey, Rice University
This is a really well-structured drama resource that I’m excited to try out in the classroom! There is a real humanistic feel about the author’s approach, with a whole range of activities encouraging learners to share personal responses, explore the emotions of others and really engage with the themes and characters in the play.
— Peter Clements, British Council
Her Own Worst Enemy provides an outstanding creative platform to be used in the English language learning classroom. With a comprehensive and flexible package of supporting materials, educators are encouraged to tailor the lessons to best meet the communicative needs of learners. The specific focus on pragmatics also presents an excellent opportunity for students to identify and practice key skills in one of the more challenging areas of communication.
— Scott Granville, Co-founder, Chasing Time English
Students will have a blast portraying the characters in this comedy about a talented young actress who does not want to act. The story unfolds in a believable way, and the dialogue gives a sense of what really happens when family members and friends try to be “helpful.”
—Jennifer Delapp, ESL teacher and tutor, Denver Colorado